My first thought was “Wow, nice clay snail sculptures.” But nope – nature makes these. Amazing psychedelic nature in all its infinite potentiality will make everything conceivable – on some planet somewhere – if it hasn’t already on this one.
They’re called nudibranchs, and they’re as toxic as they are beautiful (c.f.: poison dart frogs) – the coloration is a “don’t eat me” warning/billboard. No bones, no shell, nothing but tender, unprotected, inedible flesh slithering through the seas, testifying to nature’s infinite scope.
Text and jaw-dropping gallery at National Geographic. The sense of awe I get from these pictures? This is my religion.
Oh, and p.s.: If we stay on the current track of break-neck deforestation and reef destruction, one quarter of all species on earth today will be extinct by 2050.
5 Replies to “Nudibranchs”
Scot, is it too late to be a biologist? ;)
Sadly, probably so. 4 more years of school would put me at 47, and the field’s probably not too friendly to newbie codgers.
Ahem! Being 47 does not make you a codger! I am 51 and have attained codger status yet.
You can still be a champion of the nudibranchs. These are beautiful creatures, they along with the other inhabitants of depths need a good champion.
PS. I thought it was a clay sculpture when I first saw it as well!
I am wondering whether I might be able to use a copy of your wonderful nudibranch photo, with credit? This would be to highlight an event at MIT in which students answer marine-related questions.
The post is about a gallery at National Geographic… you’ll need to contact them.